The Road to Walden: 12 Life Lessons from a Sojourn to Thoreau’s Cabin

Kevin Dann. TarcherPerigee, $16 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-14-313283-7
Naturalist and historian Dann (Expect Great Things: The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau) uses Thoreau as a pretext for these rambling reflections on his 2017 walking pilgrimage from his home in Brooklyn to Walden Pond. Along the way, he tosses off New Age–flavored insights that he attempts to tie to Thoreau’s writings. For example, in Walden, Thoreau praises awakening at dawn, writing, “Morning is when I am awake, and there is a dawn in me,” which Dann translates into the considerably more hyperbolic injunction to “Awake! And know that you have slept with Angels.” Focusing on Thoreau’s acute interest in and observation of the natural world, Dann encourages readers to “sharpen [the senses] perennially and perpetually” until “a sixth sense arises from your five.” Adding to the sense of strain, Dann refers to Thoreau familiarly as “Henry,” such as describing how he “felt close to Henry” during his journey. Dann reveals much about his own view of the world, but little about Thoreau’s. Agent: Myrsini Stephanides, Carol Mann Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/28/2018
Release date: 07/10/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-64358-083-8
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